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Transport minister proposes a cruise ship terminal for Koh Samui

Koh Samui, in the Gulf of Thailand, has always suffered from challenges for tourists to travel there – the Bangkok Airways flights always expensive and the ferry service a two hour ride and, sometimes, inconsistent. But lately there has been renewed interest in a bridge from the mainland and, now, a proposal for a new cruise boat terminal.

The Deputy Transport Minister Manaporn Charoensri says foreign and domestic investors are showing interest in the island’s new cruise terminal project.

“The Ministry of Transport will review the feasibility study results of the project’s Public-Private Partnership investment model before submitting it to the cabinet for approval.”

The Bangkok Post reports that a possible Cabinet approval could be expected by September, after which the process of selecting private partners can begin. An Environmental and Health Impact Assessment would take around 18 months.

An initial market sounding showed interest from at least three private investors… Bangkok Airways, which operates the Samui Airport, and a business group from Phuket and Koh Samui. The third potential investor is a Japanese shipping line operator.

The study says the new cruise ship terminal could be located on a 47-rai plot near Laem Hin Khom in tambon Taling Ngam.

For the offshore area, which spans over 32 rai, a proposed suspension bridge would connect the passenger terminal with a tourist centre and service building. The new terminal should include a 7,200-square-metre passenger terminal to accommodate 1,200 passengers per hour and a cruise terminal that can handle two cruise ships, each carrying up to 4,000 passengers, simultaneously.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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